Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Christiansen's comment's" Hinds County Gazette

When I opened the Gazette last Thursday, I was mortified and embarrassed. I must apologize again, for that long rambling column last week…I didn’t even know it had gotten that long. It is this weather!…the clouds, the drizzled, the torrential rains, for what seems like weeks, with only the occasional, short lived, rays from the sun….I will soon be mad!. Mad! Mad! Do you hear me MAD!

Saturday morning I stood in my shop door… looking out at the drizzle, thinking, “I can not stand much more of this“… looked up and ask God ,”Do you see this grass? Can’t you see it needs mowing? God I need to put another coat of paint on the back door…. God there are crops in the field that need to come out” That banter with God ended with…me remembering, there is nothing like the weather to keep us reminded that God is in charge of this world. So locked the shop, went in, took a bath and headed to Raymond.

The friends of Raymond was supposed to have wrapped up their pilgrimage, Saturday afternoon with a ribbon cutting at the site of the newly acquired, 66 acres of battlefield and addition to the 66 acres, Gaddis Farms gave them an easement of more acreage, Artillery Ridge, where cannons will be placed in the spot they were during the battle of Raymond. Gaddis Farms, the Artillery Ridge addition, also allows an extension to the walking trail. The friends of Raymond are very proud of the newly obtained lands.

Because of the weather they moved the dedication to Saint Marks church….I am glad they did….because instead of ribbon cutting, Parker Hills, a retired Brigadier General, a friend of Raymond, maybe the most passionate and animated friend of Raymond, gave a power point slide show about the various battles that took place between Vicksburg and Jackson, in May of 1863? Have already forgotten the year?

I have respect for history, but not much of a student of the campaigns, battles, strategy, or tactics. I have always thoroughly enjoyed reading Gordon Cotton, telling us how individual life’s were affected and were lived during the war… the day to day life.

Back to the General’s talk I had heard of all of the battles, Raymond, Champion Hill etc. and had read about most of them…but the dots were not connected for me until I saw it on that screen with maps. The time frame, distances and chronological order are much clearer now.

The Friends of Raymond is an active, productive organization…their meeting do not seem to be the kind, that only thing that is decided at the meeting….is when the next meeting will be…

I joined Friends of Raymond Saturday, after all Raymond is the county seat, and I feel as a resident of Hinds County, I have a stake in what happens over there…

And maybe not most important reason to join, but still pretty high on the list… all the meeting I have attended, ended with a party…wine, nibbles and good conversation…..

The dedication ceremony was no exception…it ended with a reception at the home of Bob and Jeannie Chunn, the historic Porter House…It was a lovely party, the Porter House is a charmer, a neat garden in the back, several enchanting porches…Bob and Jeannie are charmers too, I enjoyed visiting with them…they brighten up a dreary Saturday afternoon for many people..

And besides all of that….I want to paint a cannon…. Come to think of it, that membership card I filled out, didn’t ask for my phone number…I wonder, How are they going to let me know when it’s time to paint? My number is 601 852 9998! You all, better call me!!!!

Love to all

Click here: Official Site: Friends of Raymond

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christiansen's Comment's Hinds County Gazette

Hinds County Gazette
October 8 2009

I am just about wore down to the ground….I have two major projects going at once. You all, generally it does not bother me one little bit for friends to see my house, with an occasional unmade bed, sink full of unwashed dishes, or a gazillion dust bunnies down the hall. But the back porch had come to the point it needed attention, so very badly, it was mildewed, the Formica was peeling off the counter top , the cupboard doors were warped , so they no longer closed, the screens were disgusting… clogged with dirt and pollen. The porch had gotten so bad…I was ashamed for even my buddies to see it.

I had a plan for the porch…but it kept raining, so while waiting for the rain to stop… I moved on to a rainy day plan. Which was to put up new curtain rods…actually a poles with rings that have clips…the curtains are attached by means of the clips…so from now on, when I wash the curtains, I will no longer have to tussle with threading the lace curtains, on to 12 feet of rod, then climbing up the ladder one step at a time….gripping that cumbersome load, then comes precarious part, the far reaching ….to attach each of the ends, that are positioned 12 feet apart,….. all the while, struggling to keep my balance. The ceilings in this old house are 12 foot and the rods were positioned at about 10 feet up….None of this use to trouble me. But now that I getting old, it doesn’t seem like an especially safe maneuver…..…Hence my new plan.

I don’t think this clip on thing is meant for lace curtain….It almost certainly would not pass the laugh test in and around the serious home decorating crowd. ….But you have to do, what you have to do… to stay in your house when you get old….and have clean curtains.

The instruction stated to install the rods and brackets it would take 30 minutes, I was doing six windows….well….the first one took and hour. Each one after that took progressively longer and longer. Hours turned to days...

In that 30 minutes they evidently did not factor in ….moving furniture, old hardware that had to be removed…or stubborn to impossible to remove screws, or the dirt, cobwebs and dried up chameleon, I come across behind the desk in the living room ….The instructions must have been for new construction, with 8 foot ceiling.

Then the Sun came out….so I was putting up the rods betwixt and between waiting for paint to dry on the back porch…and pouring the concrete counter top…that was a heavy job…..And it is not level….When things don’t turn out perfect on The Home and Garden Channel they call it having an “organic appearance” …mine is more lumpy then organic….but I am not totally unhappy with it.

It was the ladder climbing that really slowed down me to a crawl and made my bones and muscles ache…. After climbing up the ladder, no matter what I was doing, I did not have what I needed when I got up there and had to come back down. Or if I had it…it fell to the floor and I had to come back down. And the painting! I thought my arm was going to fall out at the shoulder….My neck is still stiff…my legs are cramped, my muscles are sore.

One day after working the entire day, I was so tired and so sore, I went to the bathroom, and turned on the water going to take a nice hot bath. Mother vowed and declared that a hot bath with a handful of Epsom's salts pulled the soreness right out of the muscles …I has some Epsom's salts in the shop, I use for my roses…I limped out to get it and limped back in …I have one of the old tubs…deep and long, an old claw foot ….I looked down at that bathtub filling up….I thought to myself…“as weary as I am, as bad as I hurt, if I get down in that tub, I will have to call the fire department to get me out.” I turned off the water drained the tub and took a shower….

None of you all care about my aches and pains…. do you? That’s Okay….Nobody I whined to this week be seemed concerned either… On top of all my aches and pains and nobody caring…my washing machine died….is there anything more aggravating then an out of fix washing machine? Well, maybe a car that won’t crank…..or a lawn mower that won’t go, or a dog that won’t come when it’s called….or somebody that all they want to talk about …is how hard they work, or how busy they are, or want to tell you all about their various aches and ills.

I did have a grand time Thursday Evening…, a friend and I went to Raymond for one of the Evenings at St. Marks events to see the writer Allan Huffman, he spoke on his book Sultana: Surviving the Civil War , a tragic story of a boat that sink, north of Memphis, just after the war. I had met Allan at the Mississippi Heritage Trust event that I attended with Isla awhile back….I was so impressed with myself when he (A real author) told me read my column…then on after while, he confessed, he didn’t read anymore, he had let his subscription lapse

Mr. Huffman had let his subscription to the Gazette come to an end, therefore, I felt I was under no obligation to buy a copy of his book….so I borrowed Isla’s copy of another book of his, Mississippi in Africa… .

But still and all, after meeting Mr. Huffman, …and finding him so down to earth, witty and fun,…. sore and exhausted as I was, I just had to go listen to him speak about the Sultana…and soon as I finish Mississippi in Africa, I shall be hunting down a copy of the Sultana…..sometimes I find history a bit dull but, I am finding Mississippi in Africa totally absorbing….

Hey! I gotta go! I hear Charlie barking….I called Jerry, I think Brian must be here to fix my washing machine!
Call if you need me

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gloria ChristiansenChristiansen's Comments, Hinds County Gazette

Isla and Peggy

Friends of Terry dinner theater

Christiansen's Comments
Hinds County Gazette
October 1, 2009

I do not watch the news or listen to talk radio…there is nothing wrong with doing ether…I used to be a news junkie…And John always listened to Mississippi talk radio on his way to and from work, he would come home all riled up. One time he stayed in a stew for weeks over the state of the public schools in Mississippi,,,… and how much money was being wasted, seems some of the superintendents in some of the districts were being paid enormous amounts of money…and not much to show for it .....education wise.

Of course all of that has been rectified by now…Soon as those folks in charge became aware there might be reason for concern…they flew in to action and resolved the problem…Right? ..because that was years ago….They have… haven’t they? Of course they have…they promised to do so when we elected them.

I forget now where I was going with that…..So let me tell you about, Peggy Ann, Isla and I driving over to Terry Mississippi, last Saturday evening for The Friends of Terry, Dinner Theater at the depot. During the ride down Midway Road…we were lost conversation…about clouds, sunshine…we hadn‘t seen the sun in days and reminiscing about Porter Herb Farm that was once in the area.

On after while, we found ourselves, not exactly lost, but a bit discombobulated…Until Peggy remembered she had a GPS on board…we were not satisfied with what it was telling us , about that time… we, spotted a man, up the road, mowing his grass….after a bit of contemplating, whether or not we should interrupt his work…you know how temperamental lawn mowers can be …sometimes after being shut down they refuse to crank back up….but after just a few words of deliberation…we decided he looked perfectly capable of fixing the machine if it needed it….so we asked him for directions, he set us right and off to Terry we went…..we did not look back….

The dinner theater was so much fun! The food was delicious, it was roasted pork loin, some of the best green beans I ever ate….real bacon don’t you know. ….a roll that tasted homemade and strawberry shortcake for dessert…Oh! yeah and rice… flawlessly seasoned.. The food was cooked, and served by the members of The Friends of Terry, some of the ladies and gentlemen after serving and clearing plates, pouring tea and coffee, pulled off their aprons and stepped in to costumes and took part in the play.

The Play, Lilly, The Felon’s Daughter, is one of those villain plays, where the audience gets to participate by hissing, booing and throwing peanuts. I do not believe, I am revealing anything to you, that the cast was not already aware of, when I say….…“Hollywood need not send talent scouts to Terry Mississippi“…On the other hand Foodnetwork would not be wasting their time by coming down for a look.

But, It was grand fun and oh! sooooo entertaining, the cast was having so much fun…they infected the audience with their enthusiasm. Sitting in the back of the depot watching all the silly carrying on, taking place on that makeshift stag…I could have been in Mayberry, with Andy, Opie, Barney Aunt Bea and all the rest of the town.

The likes of which that happened in Terry Mississippi last weekend, and what will be happening in Raymond this weekend, with their Pilgrimage…That is the real America.

The members of Friends of Terry, and the rag tag cast…every one a volunteer were not looking for fame or fortune…They come together for a cause. The profits generated by the dinner theaters are used for the restoration and up keep of the depot, a train engine, a box car and a soon to be on sight caboose.
Trough their generous gifts of time and labor have achieved something far greater…then fame or fortune.

"To affect the quality of the day – that is the highest of arts." Henry David Thoreau.
Thank you, all of you, for affecting the quality of my day.

Love to all and call if you need me